Quinta Brunson & ABC Sued For Copyright Infringement Over ‘Abbott Elementary’

Quinta Brunson & ABC Sued For Copyright Infringement Over ‘Abbott Elementary’

Court reports allege ABC’s hit sitcom “Abbott Elementary” is a “knock-off.”

Quinta Brunson in “Abbott Elementary”

Following “Abbott Elementary’s” remarkable seven Emmy-award nominations, the network, and creator Quinta Brunson was hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit on Tuesday (July 12). Reports state that aspiring actress, writer, and performer Christine Davis alleged her show “This School Year” and “Abbott Elementary” share the same premise. Christine Davis claimed her show was registered with the copyright office in 2020, a year before “Abbott Elementary’s” 2021 debut. On top of a jury trial, Christine Davis is seeking damages demanding that “Brunson and ABC turn over all profits they made from the show.” 


According to the suit, both shows share similar qualities such as the “look and feel of the inner-city school, the mockumentary style, unique plot synopsis, set design, and unique characters.” It also states that most of the characters are “nearly identical,” and the plots in the first few episodes are similar. Davis said this all came from her script, which she wrote in 2018. 

In the suit, Davis said she had three different meetings regarding “This School Year” with Shavon Sullivan Wright and Cherisse Parks at Blue Parks Productions in summer 2020. She was aware of Hulu and ABC’s search for “Black, female-led comedies” and received notes on her scripts. A few months later, “Abbott Elementary” started filming. Reports state that producers Shavon Sullivan Wright and Cherisse Parks aren’t connected to the ABC sitcom.

Quinta Brunson

“Abbott Elementary” was also nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.  Quinta Brunson, 32, tweeted:

“Crying shaking and throwing up has new meaning to me because I real life did all three. Still speechless. Congrats to the entire staff and cast of Abbott Elementary. And I want to share this moment with all of the people who watch and love the show. Emmy nominated, baby!”

What are your thoughts on the lawsuit against Quinta Brunson and ABC? Tell us in the comments below!

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Authored by: Tsai-Ann Hill